Tag Archives: iMac

Should Photographers Consider an iMac?

The late 2015 27" iMac with 5k Retina Display.
The late 2015 27″ iMac with 5k Retina Display.

I’ve used Mac workstations  since the early 1990s. As a professional photographer, it’s important to have a computer that is not only fast, but also scalable. For me, that meant being able to add internal hard drives, PCI expansion cards, and plenty of RAM. By having a computer that I could incrementally upgrade, I am able to extend the useful life of that machine. As a working professional, I consider upgrading my computer system every 3-5 years, depending on my needs.

In 2013, Apple radically redesigned the Mac Pro line to include internal PCI-based solid-state drives and dual video cards. Despite the performance benefits, the new form-factor no longer supported internal expansion of any kind (other than RAM). Although I was not in the market for a new Mac at that time, the immediate consequence of the new form-factor became clear. From now on, any hard drives that lived inside my existing computer would have to be moved to external enclosures. Continue reading Should Photographers Consider an iMac?

Time Machine Saves My Bacon

If you see this on your Mac at startup, you might have a bad boot drive. (image courtesy of TRC Data Recovery).

In 2009, my wife’s iMac suffered a drive failure due to a bad logic board. While we were able to replace the drive, the data recovery was very expensive, as the drive had to be taken apart in a clean room and recovered piecemeal. While most of the data wasn’t that important, there were enough family photos that justified the expense. Since then, I’ve had an external Time Machine drive connected to her computer (just do it, I said).

Two weeks ago, while I was out of town, that 2009 drive stopped dead. It failed without any warning whatsoever. Of course, these things always happen when I’m out of town, but at least this time I was able to say “don’t worry, we’ve got everything backed up” (holding my breath). Continue reading Time Machine Saves My Bacon